Starbucks brings back personal reusable cups to its US cafés

Beginning 22 June, Starbucks is safely reintroducing personal reusable cups across company-operated stores in the US.

As part of Starbucks ongoing commitment to prioritizing partner and customer safety, the company developed a completely contactless, new method – eliminating any shared touch points between the customer and Starbucks partners (baristas).

Bringing back personal reusable cups is a key part of Starbucks ongoing commitment to reduce single-use cup waste and goal to reduce waste by 50% by 2030. At Starbucks, pre-Covid 80% of beverages are enjoyed on the go. To encourage customers to choose reusable cups and reduce single-use cup waste, Starbucks will continue offering customers a USD $.10 discount on their beverage of choice.

Starbucks held extensive trials and has adopted this new process, using a ceramic mug to transport the reusable cup through the bar, in EMEA and Asia Pacific to reintroduce reusable cups with confidence.

Only clean cups will be accepted; Starbucks partners will not be able to clean them for customers. In addition, the company is currently testing safe options for allowing personal reusable cups via the drive thru, but for now personal reusable cups will only be accepted in stores. Starbucks will also be reinstating For Here Ware for customers who choose to enjoy their food and beverages in-store where indoor dining is available.

Full details on how the new personal reusable cup process works can be found here.

Efforts to reduce single-use cup waste is not new to Starbucks. We have offered the option for customers to enjoy their beverage in For Here Ware or to BYOC (bring your own cup) for a discount since the 1980s. And yet, the majority of our beverages in the US are served in single-use cups, with only a small amount being recycled or composted due to waste processing infrastructure limitations.

Starbucks continues to explore scalable options to reduce single-use cup waste and has acted through powerful partnerships – including working with Closed Loop Partners and their NextGen Consortium and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment – to research and test solutions that will make its cups, lids and straws easier to recycle and compost. This complements the company’s work with municipalities to improve recycling and composting infrastructure.

Starbucks continues to make progress against this goal around the world. Starbucks EMEA previously announced it will offer a reusable cup share program in all Europe, Middle East and Africa stores by 2025. In July, Starbucks South Korea will launch Borrow a Cup program in stores and recently committed to eliminating single-use cups by 2025.

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